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Nicholas, age 7

Nicholas’s mum says… Nicholas has right hand side hemiplegia and we found out when he was about six months.

Since he was diagnosed, he himself with a strong character and a 'the word can't is not in my vocabulary' attitude in everything he does, has meant that he has achieved far more than what we ever expected.

He has always had such determination to conquer all his fears and disability, which do not enable him to do all the activities he wants to master, that we can but be in awe of his strength, determination and endurance for such a small person.

His first challenge came when he was but two years and he was determined to swim, he practiced and practiced and after a long hard summer's work, he managed it. He has swum like a fish since then.

When he was four we travelled to France and his brother and cousin wanted to go to an adventure park and take part in upsailing activities. So did he. And he did. I have the photos to prove it!!!

These are but two examples of how determined and how much work he puts himself through to achieve his goals.

He plays Hockey, goes to Jutitsu and, most importantly, he has been riding his own bike without any side wheels for about a year. This challenge has been his crowning moment as it has taken him more than two years and lots of scrapes, bumps and tears. His determination has carried him through this. Even when I gave up, he never did. Again and again he climbed on his bike after a nasty fall and tried and tried again.

He is my true hero. He endures daily morning exercises, an arm and hand splint together with a leg splint every day, he dresses himself, he showers himself, he has learned to eat with a knife and fork (that was really messy) and he wants to be totally independent. After innumerable sessions of physio, OT and speech therapy, daily exercises and daily sports activities, he still finds time to smile and takes it all in his stride.

Even though I am his mother, I stand in awe of his great strength and his optimistic view on life.

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